By Cpl. Sbastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#109, March 21, 2001
Glamoc - A warning shot resounded March 9 above
the range indicating the grand finale of Strong Guardian II exercise.
About 300 onlookers sat on wooden benches on top of a hill for
the combined arms live-fire demonstration conducted by the MND-SW.
Cameras in hand, they examined the slightest movements of the
Canadian infantry section at the bottom of the hill. Among the
most watchful guests, many Armed Forces in BiH officers, from
VF and VRS, surrounded Canadian Maj. Gen. Rick Hillier, MND-SW
first Strong Guardian exercise took place at the end of March
2000. British, Czech and Canadian troops took on an enemy force
played by Dutch soldiers. For this second edition, enemies were
static targets put in different points of the valley and on surrounding
heights. The four nations of the MND usedtheir artillery, anti-tank
weapons, tanks and armoured personnel carrier weapons to jointly
improve their efficiency on the field.
Posted in their trenches, Canadian infantrymen used their C7 rifles,
which is a Canadian variant of the American M16, and their light
machine-guns C6 (7.62 mm) and C9 (5.56 mm). The rounds hit the
bull's eye and knocked down the targets placed several hundred
metres away, proving their efficiency in most offensive and defensive
fire support tasks.
armoured vehicles burst into the valley. Canadian Coyotes advanced
next to Czech BVP2 and British AS 90. The detonation sound rent
the air, while hills in front of the gathering were shrouded by
smoke. Smoke grenades showered down. They formed an impenetrable
shield behind which armoured vehicles fell back in order, leaving
the field before being spotted by an enemy battery.
Meanwhile, the guided missile weapon system TOW2 equipping M113
was working wonders. The TOW 2 is designed primarily to provide
long-range anti-tank fire. This weapon system is also effective
against fortified bunkers and gun emplacements for a maximal distance
of 3.750 meters.
Exclamations came from the spectator rows when a Cougar helicopter
came past roaring, carrying a piece of artillery in its winch.
Later a tactical transport helicopter Griffin laid down infantrymen
in support. At last, two American Apaches took their places on
each side of the onlookers for a demonstration of their machine
thank all those taking part in the exercise. With their exemplary
co-operation on the field, they showed once again our ability
to work together and conduct our main mission, which is to maintain
the peace. The demonstration is an excellent opportunity to provide
professional interchange between the Armed Forces in BiH and SFOR,
particularly in the safe conduct of live-fire exercises and the
use and co-ordination of combined arms assets," said Maj.
Gen. Rick Hillier.
A static display of some military equipment used by SFOR allowed
spectators to approach these "war beasts." While bystanders
were squeezing up against the armoured vehicles, the thunder of
explosions still floated over Glamoc plain.
Nations of SFOR: Canada
Training and Exercises